ONE NATION ONE TAX

What the GST does for India’s millennial “urban poor”

Quartz india
Quartz india

These are already trying times for India’s millennials, and it’s going to get tougher.

For the country’s young professionals—including the “urban poor,” who apparently starve or live in cars to maintain their fancy lifestyle—India’s biggest tax reform could mean more frugality once it is implemented from July 01.

In what would be a watershed moment in India’s taxation history, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will replace various taxes levied by the central and state governments on goods and services. The GST rate slabs are fixed at 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%.

Unfortunately, many goods and services used by India’s millennials (and the urban poor) will attract a higher tax rate initially. However, their prices could fall if manufacturers and service providers cut costs after taking into account some tax rebates under GST. Meanwhile, online sellers will have to collect 1% GST from vendors but its impact on consumers is still unclear.

For now, here’s a handy list of what the GST will mean for everyday things. The information has been sourced from Crisil reports, GST rate documents (pdf), and media reports. (The current tax rates for some categories could differ, according to states.) We will keep updating the list, as we get clarity about more products and services.

Product or service Pre-GST tax rate Post-GST tax rate Does your tax rate go up or down?
Furniture 26% 28% Up
Laptop 14-15% 18% Up
Mobile phones 6% 18% Up
Mobile phone bills 15% 18% Up
Perfumes 26% 28% Up
Beauty and make-up products 26% 28% Up
Aerated drinks 28-34% 40% (28% GST+12% additional cess) Up
Shampoo 27.70% 28% Up
Deodorants 26% 28% Up
Instant Coffee 26% 28% Up
Five-star restaurants 18% 28% Up
Hotels with room rent above Rs5,000 19% 28% Up
Air travel (business class) 9% 12% Up
Mid-segment cars 36-40% 43% Up
Tea 6% 5% Down
Restaurants (air-conditioned) 22% 18% Down
Soap 27.70% 18% Down
Ola, Uber and other cab aggregators 6% 5% Down
Air travel (economy class) 6% 5% Down
Stationary (paper & pens) 11-27% 12-18% Down
Movies & entertainment Depends on the state due to local-body taxes
Branded clothes Unclear as of now
Alcohol Not included in GST
Gym Exempt from GST (healthcare)
home our picks popular latest obsessions search